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M. A. Doran Gallery, Tulsa, OK - Annual Holiday Show

Zack Reeves

This show presents 59 pieces from 26 artists on two floors, hung, if not salon-style, as tightly crammed together as possible. While I wished for a simpler approach (and, frankly, fewer artists), I found several pieces that elevated the commercial gallery’s show from a mere exercise in capitalism to a great art show. 

Two Otto Dueckers, “Water Shakers” and “Earth Shakers,” greeted me at the front. Duecker’s hyperrealism shines—almost literally—in these simple paintings of salt shakers filled with, respectively, water and dirt. While his approach isn’t revolutionary, Duecker’s shakers are rendered in impeccable detail, and the subject matter lends these objects an unexpected otherworldliness. 

A little farther in, I was confronted by Jeff Dodd’s “Longhorns 1.” A herd of steers in tight realism fills the frame, their horns threatening to crowd each other out of the shot. Overhead ghostly, ominous clouds float through a pale blue sky. Several of the bulls stare out at the viewer, giving the effect that it is the viewer who is being watched, not the cattle. The effect is eerie and energetic all at once. 

While the show was difficult to parse due to its density of pieces and styles (the caveat of a commercial gallery—one must show to sell), the strength of several individual works was impressive. The gallery has created a show with something for everyone—not an easy feat. I look forward, however, to seeing a more restrained approach from the gallery in the future. 

Otto Duecker, “Earth Shakers”, Oil on Canvas. 24 x 30 in. 

Otto Duecker, “Water Shakers”, Oil on Canvas. 38 x 34 in.

Jeff Dodd, “Longhorns 1”, Oil on Panel. 36 x 48 in.  

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